Forestville creates new positions

FORESTVILLE – The Forestville Village Board made changes to the employee handbook as well as some updated personnel changes for village workers.

The village board listed holidays for 2013-2014 fiscal year and defined full-time positions and overtime. The village also created two new positions in the streets and water department.

The village took away Veteran’s Day and Election Day as holidays but gave employees a half day on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The village also reduced full-time hours to 35 hours per week. Any employee who works between 35 and 40 hours will receive straight pay, and the time must be approved by the mayor. Any hours over 40 will be overtime and must be approved by the village board. All overtime hours must be reported at the following board meeting.

The village created two utility worker positions. Currently John Carpenter and Charles Brewster are labeled as laborers. This change is part of a corrective action plan the village must enact, part of which job descriptions must match what the workers do, according to Village Clerk Jim White.

The village workers must also keep track of water versus street department hours. Mayor Linda Aures took a municipal accounting course recently which stressed separation of accounts.

“This is what we want them to keep a schedule .. assigned to the general fund and … assigned to the water fund. We want (workers) to keep a more accurate account of what they’re doing every day,” Aures said.

Carpenter had questions regarding the new position creation. He wanted to know the pay scale and the job description details and if there is a probation period for the workers. Aures said there will be a probation period. Carpenter said he will be over qualified for the job seeing as he has more than two years experience, saying he’s “overeducated for utility worker.”

Carpenter said he wants to stay laborer and does not want the pay increase that comes with the new job title. Both Carpenter and Brewster are OK with the cut in hours, according to Carpenter. Carpenter said he does not want a pay increase and is happy with his pay and his current title.

“I have no problems staying laborer. Is everyone happy with my labor work?” Carpenter asked those in attendance at the meeting. “I like it here. I’m willing to take a pay cut to stay here.”

Resident Jeanne Polisoto asked about the new job creation and the pay grades for the village. Polisoto asked if placing the workers on a class 4, which is lower than the current laborer, is a problem for the village. Michael Sullivan, lawyer for the village, said the county has designations regarding job class, but it is up to municipalities to determine pay. If the village were to overpay based on class, that would be OK. It would only be a problem if the village were to pay less than the pay grade.

Sullivan said some municipalities create job descriptions and leave them on the books but do not fill them right away.

“At this point these two titles will be vacant titles sitting there. You haven’t taken any action tonight to appoint anybody to a new title,” he said. “Municipalities have a lot of titles that sit in the record book in Mayville as a position you can hire somebody for … You got the titles but you don’t have anybody in those titles until you appoint somebody.”

Trustee Margaret “Mindy” Borrello thanked Carpenter for standing up at the meeting to voice his opinions and feelings on the creation of positions.

“I’d like to thank John (Carpenter) for standing up here and being honest about your position and how you feel rather than hear it through rumors out on the street. I appreciate that,” Borrello said.

The village will have to now decide what is to be done with these new positions and who will fill them. The board will discuss the matter in the future.

Also at the meeting, Kevin Johnson gave an update on the flags. The village will not have to buy the flags this year since the American Legion will take care of it this year. The beautification committee will take on the task in the future. Ron Lineman was sworn in as a village trustee and Johnson was sworn in as deputy mayor.

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